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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 563236, 16 pages
Review Article

Acupuncture to Treat Sleep Disorders in Postmenopausal Women: A Systematic Review

1Departamento de Psicobiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Napoleão de Barros 925, Vila Clementino, 04024-002 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Departamento de Ginecologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Napoleão de Barros 715, 7° Andar, 04024-002 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Departamento de Ginecologia, Casa de Saude Santa Marcelina, Rua Santa Marcelina 177, 08270-070 Itaquera, SP, Brazil

Received 3 May 2015; Revised 20 July 2015; Accepted 28 July 2015

Academic Editor: Florian Pfab

Copyright © 2015 A. G. Bezerra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sleep disorders are commonly observed among postmenopausal women, with negative effects on their quality of life. The search for complementary therapies for sleep disorders during postmenopausal period is of high importance, and acupuncture stands out as an appropriate possibility. The present review intended to systematically evaluate the available literature, compiling studies that have employed acupuncture as treatment to sleep disorders in postmenopausal women. A bibliographic search was performed in PubMed/Medline and Scopus. Articles which had acupuncture as intervention, sleep related measurements as outcomes, and postmenopausal women as target population were included and evaluated according to the Cochrane risk of bias tool and to the STRICTA guidelines. Out of 89 search results, 12 articles composed our final sample. A high heterogeneity was observed among these articles, which prevented us from performing a meta-analysis. Selected articles did not present high risk of bias and had a satisfactory compliance rate with STRICTA guidelines. In general, these studies presented improvements in sleep-related variables. Despite the overall positive effects, acupuncture still cannot be stated as a reliable treatment for sleep-related complaints, not due to inefficacy, but rather limited evidence. Nevertheless, results are promising and new comprehensive and controlled studies in the field are encouraged.